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Outreach

USGS National Wetlands Research Center Celebrates National Women's History Month


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The scientific-journal articles were written, the greenhouse experiments were set up, and the researchers were towing airboats to their study sites in the marsh, but in spring there was a little something extra ("lagniappe" in the Cajun culture) happening at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) in Lafayette, Louisiana.

When Debbie Norling, secretary for the wetland ecology and forest ecology branches, learned that the theme for the 2008 National Women's History Month would be "Women's Art, Women's Vision," she proposed that the center host an art exhibit featuring the work of local women artists. In keeping with the scientific mission of NWRC, the theme became "Women's Art: Women's Vision of the Natural World."

Debbie Norling, Greg Smith, Christina Boudreaux, and Susan Horton art student, shares her sculpture "Mother Earth" with family and friends
Above left: USGS National Wetlands Research Center director Greg Smith (second from left) with the planning team for the center's celebration of National Women's History Month (left to right): Debbie Norling, Christina Boudreaux, and Susan Horton. Photograph by Patricia Gannon of the Daily Advertiser, Lafayette, Louisiana. [larger version]

Above right: Sonia Daniels (second from left), a University of Louisiana, Lafayette, art student, shares her sculpture "Mother Earth" with family and friends. Photograph by Adele Millet, photography student, University of Louisiana (UL), Lafayette. [larger version]

Becky Collins Quilt depicting plants and animals of Louisiana's wetlands
Above left: Artist Becky Collins at the opening reception with several of her bird carvings. Photograph by Adele Millet, photography student, UL Lafayette. [larger version]

Above right: Quilt depicting plants and animals of Louisiana's wetlands. Panels were embroidered, appliquéd, crocheted, painted, or cross-stitched by USGS National Wetlands Research Center staff in 1995 for American Wetlands Month. Photograph by Adele Millet, photography student, UL Lafayette. [larger version]

In less than a month, more than 35 artists had committed to participate in the exhibition, scheduled to run from March 10 to 14. The only criterion for display was that the work reflect the interpretation of nature in either subject matter or materials used. Norling and Christina Boudreaux, a contract (IAP World Services, Inc.) visual-information specialist with the USGS Enterprise Publishing Network, transformed NWRC's public space (lobby, large conference room, and main hallway) into a gallery featuring paintings, sculptures, block prints, wood carvings, ceramics, photographs, and textile art.

Opening reception Patricia Smith Michot
Above left: Opening reception for the "Women's Art: Women's Vision of the Natural World" exhibit at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center, Lafayette, Louisiana. Photograph by Adele Millet, photography student, UL Lafayette. [larger version]

Above right: Artist Patricia Smith Michot holds the exhibit poster created by Christina Boudreaux in celebration of National Women's History Month. Two of Michot's paintings are hanging behind her. Photograph by Adele Millet, photography student, UL Lafayette. [larger version]

USGS outreach contractor Susan Horton (IAP World Services, Inc.) helped with publicity and the opening reception, held March 10. More than 200 people enjoyed the artist's reception and the weeklong exhibit in celebration of National Women's History Month.

Dr. Jean Kreamer, one of the artists, told the NWRC planners: "What a wonderful show and reception! You and your team would fool the Metropolitan Museum of Art with the pros that you are, naturally. The best part of this project has been working with all of you and celebrating your great work."


Related Sound Waves Stories
Art and Science Combine to Create Awareness of Louisiana's Coastal Wetlands
October 2007
Debbie Norling Honored with Excellence Award
October 2006

Related Web Sites
USGS National Wetlands Research Center
USGS (U.S. Geological Survey)
National Women's History Project
non-profit organization

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Fieldwork
cover story:
Corals, Habitats, and Paleoclimate in the Drake Passage

Outreach
Scientists and the Media: Impacts of Sea-level Rise

USGS NWRC Celebrates National Women's History Month

USGS Promoted at National Science Teachers Association Conference

Meetings Field Trip for Association of American Geographers Meeting

USGS Modeling Conference

Publications New Poster Depicts Complex Bathymetry in Northern Monterey Bay

August 2008 Publications List


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